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Fatoyinbo of COZA steps down from pulpit amidst rape allegation

BIODUN Fatoyinbo, the Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), has taken a leave of absence from his pastoral work amidst alleged cases of rape on Monday.

Fatoyinbo who announced the decision via his official Instagram handle said he was following spiritual counsel from Christian leaders and spiritual mentors.

The pastor, although, said stepping down from the pulpit would break his “heart to tatters”, he believed it was the right action to take after he was alleged of two-time rape by Busola Dakolo, a photographer and wife of a popular singer, Timi Dakolo.

“The past few days have been very sobering for me. I have taken time to pray and seek spiritual counsel from Christian leaders around the world who feel very concerned about the ongoing reports in the media. I have solicited their guidance on actions I should take that is honouring to our Lord Jesus Christ and the work He has called me to do,” Fatoyinbo sympathises himself and the situation in the initial paragraph of the post.

“Drawing from their counsel and that of the leadership of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly and owing to my love for God’s word and the sacred honour of my called, I have decided to take a leave of absence from the pulpit of the church,” the statement read in part.

He said to step down was in the interest of believers of Christ so as not to let the issues concerning him caused a distraction to their worship of their Lord.

Fatoyinbo clarified that he had only stepped down from the ministry, but his confidence remains “unwavering” in the Lord. He trusted the Lord to lead and guide him in the situation as he added he did not understand all that was happening.

While the clergyman described the situation as “turbulent times”, he asked COZA members and the general public to seek God’s face on the matter.

After Busola alleged the pastor on Friday of rape through a video interview, many Nigerians have called for proper investigations on the issue, calling for justice.

In fact, Busola was not the first female that had alleged the COZA pastor of rape, a lady named Ese Walter also accused the pastor of raping her in 2013. Then Fatoyinbo neither reacted nor gave a public response to the lady’s disclosure. However, the pastor responded to the Busola’s allegation same day she had narrated how he raped her. Fatoyinbo reacted on Friday, stating he had never raped anyone.

But Nigerians launched into a protest on Sunday at COZA churches in Abuja and Lagos. He, thus, cancelled a one-week planned programme scheduled to start on Monday.

THE ICIR noticed that his official Instagram Page still read he was the senior pastor of the church two hours after the statement was released. “Official Instagram Page for Reverend Biodun Fatoyinbo, the Senior Pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA) Worldwide,” the account introductory part read.

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